If physical strain, extreme perspiration and long exposure under the sun are a part of your lifestyle, are you consuming enough fluids to compensate? Read on to know how dehydration can affect your eyes and how you can prevent it.

Extreme heat can take a toll on you no matter how healthy your body is. Standing in the park on a hot summers day, prolonged sunbathing, exercising outside, or attending a concert outdoor are all scenarios where people forget to compensate for the fluid loss through sweating, and thus they become dehydrated. 

Dehydration can affect your eyes too. If your contact lenses are not comfortable or are finding it difficult to stay in place, or you find yourself rubbing them all too often, it might be wise to stop and ask yourself if you are taking in sufficient fluids. Dehydration changes the fit of the lens by altering the parameters of the lens1


Causes of Dry Eyes:

When the body does not produce tears adequately or when tears produced are not consistent and evaporate easily, it leads to dry eyes. Tears are important for clearer vision;theywash away foreign matter in the eye, reduce the risk of eye infections, and keep the eyes lubricated. 

Other factors that can cause dry eyes include:

  • Certain medications such as tranquilizers 
  • Laser eye surgery
  • Using contact lenses 
  • Pregnancy
  • Skin diseases around the eyelids
  • Insufficient intake of vitamins
  • Infrequent blinking
  • Allergies

Every time you blink, tears spread across the surface of the eye. Tears are produced from the tear ducts. When you don’t consume sufficient water, your eye duct loses the ability to generate tears to wash away mucus, debris, or dirt that get into your eyes.

Impact of dehydration on the lining of the eyes, leading to a dry eye condition:

  • Blurred vision
  • Stinging or burning of the eyes
  • Irritation/itching around the eyes
  • Excess watering
  • Eye fatigue
  • Lower tolerance of activities that require the eyes such as reading or doing computer work
  • Redness and pain of the eyes
  • A sensation of foreign matter in the eyes

Dry eye is a growing public health problem. 25% of patients who visit eye clinics report signs of dry eyes. Research shows that 7.8% of women in the U.S. and 4.7% of men above 50 years had signs of dry eyes. The prevalence of dry eye is about 27.5% in Indonesia and 33 % in Japan – both with more cases associated with cigarette smoking and age. In Australia, the prevalence is 7.4% and in Taiwan, it is 33%.